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Term Schedule
Intro Engr
Eng 100 Eng 101 T.C. 215 T.C. 496
EECS 210 EECS 211 EECS 212 EECS 230 EECS 270 EECS 280 EECS 311 EECS 320 EECS 330 EECS 401 EECS 451 EECS 452 EECS 461
Math & Sciences
Math 115 Math 116 Math 215 Math 216 Chem 125&130 Phys 140&141 Phys 240&241
HU & S.S.
JE 101&JE 102 RCNS 270 Hist 285 Hist 301
Eng 195 ME 424 P.A.T. 201 Phys 489 T.C. 450

Physics 489: Physics of Music, with Project

Completed: A+

The purpose of this course is to study the physical aspects of the phenomena that make up the practice and experience of music, as well as to get a glimpse into physics as a mental activity. Topics to be covered include: the nature of sound; mechanics of vibration; musical tones and intervals; scales and temperaments; wave motion, interference, and diffraction; propagation of sound through pipes; physics of brass instruments; physics of woodwind instruments; physics of string instruments; physics of the piano; and high-fidelity sound reproduction. In addition, Physics 489 also requires an independent theoretical or experimental graded project.

Winter 2002, Professor Daniel Axelrod

This was the best class I had all year. Dan Axelrod is one of the funniest professors I've ever met. Although a professor of physics, he really enjoys music and enjoys sharing music with the class. The best part of the class was both the jokes and the quotes: "Conservation of equations." As an my independent study project I designed, built, and demonstrated a Theremin and followed it up with a paper on my research and results. The paper is avaliable here in PDF format, but it is just over a megabyte in size due to the images:

Theremaniac paper (PDF - 1.05MB).

Picture of Theremin Circuit



Information provided on this page is a result of undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan. Material may be copyrighted by the University of Michigan, James Glettler, and/or the various co-authors noted in group projects. Finished assignments are offered only for reference.